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Pinket, An-Sofie, De Craemer, Marieke, De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse, Deforche, Benedicte, Cardon, Greet, Androutsos, Odysseas, Koletzko, Berthold, Moreno, Luis A., Socha, Piotr, Iotova, Violeta, Manios, Yannis and Lippevelde, Wendy van (2016): Can Parenting Practices Explain the Differences in Beverage Intake According to Socio-Economic Status. The Toybox-Study. In: Nutrients, Vol. 8, No. 10, 591 [PDF, 723kB]


Previous research indicated that preschoolers of lower socioeconomic status (SES) consume less healthy beverages than high SES preschoolers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the mediating role of parenting practices in the relationship between SES and plain water, soft drink and prepacked fruit juice (FJ) consumption in European preschoolers. Parents/caregivers of 3.5 to 5.5 years old (n = 6776) recruited through kindergartens in six European countries within the ToyBox-study completed questionnaires on socio-demographics, parenting practices and a food frequency questionnaire. Availability of sugared beverages and plain water, permissiveness towards sugared beverages and lack of self-efficacy showed a mediating effect on SES-differences in all three beverages. Rewarding with sugared beverages significantly mediated SES-differences for both plain water and prepacked FJ. Encouragement to drink plain water and awareness significantly mediated SES-differences for, respectively, plain water and prepacked FJ consumption. Avoiding negative modelling did not mediate any associations. Overall, lower SES preschoolers were more likely to be confronted with lower levels of favourable and higher levels of unfavourable parenting practices, which may lead to higher sugared beverage and lower plain water consumption. The current study highlights the importance of parenting practices in explaining the relation between SES and both healthy and unhealthy beverage consumption

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